Friday, December 17, 2010

Who Does Gwyneth Paltrow Think She Is?

One of my favorite shows of recent years has been NBC's fascinating Who Do You Think You Are. The show, expertly researched and produced (by Dan Bucatinsky and one of last year's subjects, Lisa Kudrow), has been one of the inspirations for my own delving into genealogy, and my search has already yielded not only fun and surprising results, but also a few fun, interesting new relatives in Europe whom I've already had the pleasure of meeting and visiting (i.e., freeloading.)

The show's resident genealogist, Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak, has visited us on Sirius XM's The Frank DeCaro Show, and I hope she'll come back again to discuss her work on this second batch of celebrities. Last year, we learned that Sarah Jessica Parker has American roots that go back as far as the Salem witch trials and that Brooke Shields is descended from the kings of France. We went with Spike Lee to visit his white distant cousin, and with Emmitt Smith to an ancestral country in Africa.

This year, the list of celebs looks fascinating as well. Rosie O'Donnell was just photographed by paparazzi as she appeared at the public library in Jersey City, NJ, researching her roots for the show; as she later explained on her radio show on Sirius XM, she has been told that her work on the show will involve her leaving the country twice -- and she assumes she'll be going to Ireland -- but that excitingly, she won't know her exact destinations until she leaves for the plane.

Having recently accosted Gwyneth Paltrow's mother, the gracious and lovely Blythe Danner, on my flight to New Orleans, I know that the Danner roots reach back to the earliest times in the United States. And who wouldn't want to tune in to learn more about the gorgeous gumbo of genetic ingredients it must take to produce someone as beautiful and talented as Vanessa Williams?

Here's the NBC press release with the full list of names. Who Do You Think You Are returns to NBC on Friday, February 4.

NBC ANNOUNCES THE CELEBRITIES TRACING THEIR FAMILY TREES ON SEASON TWO OF ‘WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?’ PREMIERING FEBRUARY 4

http://www.nbcuniversal.presscentre.com/ImageLibrary/detail.aspx?MediaDetailsID=3157&HUserId=890,780,885,850,752,684,710,705,765,674,677,767,684,762,718,674,708,683,706,718,674

Gwyneth Paltrow, Tim McGraw, Rosie O’Donnell, Steve Buscemi, Kim Cattrall, Lionel Richie, Vanessa Williams and Ashley Judd Take a Look Inside Their Family Histories on NBC’s Genealogy Alternative Series Produced by Lisa Kudrow

UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. – December 16, 2010 – Viewers can take an up-close and personal look inside the family history of some of today’s most beloved and iconic celebrities when NBC’s “Who Do You Think You Are?” returns for its second season on Friday, February 4 (8-9 p.m. ET). The celebrities who star in the series are Gwyneth Paltrow, Tim McGraw, Rosie O’Donnell, Steve Buscemi, Kim Cattrall, Lionel Richie, Vanessa Williams and Ashley Judd.

From executive producers Lisa Kudrow (“Friends,” “The Comeback”) and Dan Bucatinsky (“Lipstick Jungle,” “The Comeback”) – through their production company Is or Isn’t Entertainment and Shed Media U.S. (“Supernanny,” “The Real Housewives of New York City”) -- “Who Do You Think You Are?” is an adaptation of the award-winning hit British television documentary series that leads celebrities on a journey of self-discovery as they unearth their family trees that reveal surprising, inspiring and even tragic stories that often are linked to crucial events in American history.

“I've been a fan of the U.K. version of ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’ for a long time, so it's very rewarding that the U.S. version is back with more compelling stories this season that are illuminating, touching and aspirational,” said Kudrow. “This is such a unique show for network television and we're all thrilled that the American audience has embraced it.”

From the trenches of the Civil War to the shores of the Caribbean, and from the valleys of Virginia to the island nations of Australia and Ireland, “Who Do You Think You Are?” will reveal the fabric of humanity through everyone’s place in history. Each week a different celebrity takes a journey into their family’s past, traveling all over the world. While giving viewers an in-depth look into their favorite stars’ family tree, each episode will expose surprising facts and life changing encounters that will unlock people’s emotions, show just how connected everyone is not only to the past, but to one another.

Ancestry.com is NBC and Shed’s official partner on the series and will help provide the research used to tell each story. “We’re thrilled with this year’s strong lineup and look forward to helping Americans go on their own journey of discovery alongside the stars,” said Josh Hanna, Head of Global Marketing for Ancestry.com.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Is there Nothing Meryl Streep Can't Do?

Last night, braving the New York cold on the sidewalk in front of the New World Stages, new Saturday Night Live cast members Vanessa Bayer and Paul Brittain shot one of the show's now trademark digital shorts. Posing as theatergoers in one of those ubiquitous New York area TV commercials, they raved about having seen Meryl as never before, as a poster behind them revealed the hilarious title of LaStreep's supposed wintertime show.

I won't ruin the joke by revealing the title; and besides, I don't have to put this item on ice for too long, because SNL airs tomorrow, with guest host Paul Rudd and musical guest Paul McCartney.

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Netjumper's Curse

When first Medium’s star, Patricia Arquette, and then its executive producer, Glenn Gordon Caron, confirmed this week that CBS has indeed cancelled the Friday night drama, it was one more example of what I like to call “The Netjumper’s Curse.”

After spending its first five years over on the Peacock network, Arquette’s character, psychic Allison Dubois, had hoped to foresee a long and profitable future at the Eye, whose in-house studio also produces the show; alas, after one full season and this second, abbreviated 13-ep year, it’s all over.



The pattern is nothing new, because for almost as long as there have been TV networks, there have been TV shows which have jumped among them. So while one of the medium’s earliest hits, The Goldbergs, may have premiered in 1949 on CBS, after a couple of seasons, Gertrude Berg’s title character Molly was waving “Yoo hoo” out of a window at NBC, and later at the era’s third network, Dumont.

It may seem that Father Knows Best that a series can find new life just by switching networks, as Robert Young’s wholesome ‘50s sitcom did three times in the course of its run, landing on CBS twice. And My Three Sons played for so long – on both ABC and CBS – that the show eventually had to augment its aging cast with an extra kid named Ernie, just to keep the title making sense.

But since then, the benefits of “netjumping” have become much less clear. Many shows swapping spots on the dial have managed to eke out only one more year before succumbing to the TV fates. Looking back, some, like ABC’s long-running TGIF sitcoms Family Matters and Step By Step, had probably already run out of steam before making that one last leap. Even a network-leaping Wonder Woman couldn’t conquer that one indomitable small screen foe: early cancellation.

In TV’s most recent, and most famous case of successful netjumping, in 1996 JAG motored on over after just one season on NBC to CBS, where, with a change in cast and story focus, it dominated the ratings for nine more years. Since then, we’ve had Scrubs die on the operating table in its sole season on ABC, and who can forget the middling post-jump success of Grounded for Life? (Answer: everyone.) That’s not to say that I want to discourage networks from salvaging each other’s unappreciated treasures. Let’s just hope we don’t have to worry about it, because here’s hoping that AMC will finally nut up and renew Mad Men. And in the meanwhile, let’s pour ourselves a good, stiff drink.

Monday, November 15, 2010

NBC Gives Early Renewal for 30 Rock for 2011-12 season.

...And on the heels of its midseason schedule announcement, NBC also sent out a press release announcing the early renewal of 30 Rock for next season, which will be the show's sixth.

Undoubtedly, this is good news for Tina Fey and company, who must be worried that their show is now being sent off to an unproven 10 PM time slot, a rarity for broadcast TV. So never fear -- even if the 10-11 PM comedy experience proves a bust, NBC is telling us that Liz Lemon and Jack Donaghy will live on.

Here's the announcement:

NBC PICKS UP EMMY-WINNING COMEDY ’30 ROCK’ FOR ANOTHER SEASON THROUGH 2011-12

UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. – November 15, 2010 – NBC has picked up its Emmy Award-winning comedy “30 Rock” (Thursdays, 10-10:30 p.m. ET) for another season through 2011-12, it was announced today by Angela Bromstad, President, Primetime Entertainment, NBC and Universal Media Studios.

We are happy to confirm the pickup of ’30 Rock’ for another season,” said Bromstad. “It continues to be a bold, hilarious, sophisticated comedy that has become a classic in its own time.”

The pickup comes as “30 Rock” also celebrates its 100th episode this season.

"30 Rock" has averaged a 3.1 rating, 9 share in adults 18-49 and 6.6 million viewers overall in "most current" averages for the season through November 7. It's one of the most upscale and most time-shifted comedies on the schedule, tying for the #2 most upscale shows among all primetime series on ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox or CW in its concentration of adults 18-49 living in homes with $100,000-plus incomes (46 percent above average), and tying for the #3 biggest time-shifting increase among half-hour comedies when going from "live plus same day" to "live plus seven day" ratings (plus 27 percent). Airing this fall in the Thursday 8:30 p.m. ET slot, "30 Rock" is building on its adult 18-49 lead-in by 25 percent in "live plus same day" ratings and has also improved the time period versus year-ago results by 25 percent.

Multiple award-winning comedy series “30 Rock” is told through the comedic voice of Emmy and two-time Golden Globe winner Tina Fey as variety show producer Liz Lemon, and features Emmy and three-time Golden Globe winner Alec Baldwin as top network executive Jack Donaghy and Emmy nominee Tracy Morgan as Tracy Jordan, the unpredictable star of Lemon’s hit variety show, “TGS with Tracy Jordan.” Lemon constantly has her hands full, juggling corporate interference from Donaghy and off-the-handle star antics from Jordan, all while attempting to salvage her own personal life.

Also rounding out the cast are two-time Emmy nominee Jane Krakowski as Jenna Maroney, the co-star of “TGS”; Scott Adsit as the variety show’s producer Pete Hornberger; Emmy nominee Jack McBrayer as Kenneth, the over-eager and effortlessly endearing NBC page; Judah Friedlander as Frank, the sardonic slacker on the writing staff; and Keith Powell as Toofer, the sophisticated yet sarcastic, Harvard-alum writer.

Nominated for 15 Emmy nominations (plus one for an interactive Emmy) in 2010, “30 Rock” won its third-straight Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series and tied the record for most comedy Emmys in a single season in 2009. “30 Rock” has also won a Golden Globe for Best Television Series, a Screen Actor’s Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an ensemble in a Comedy Series, three Producers Guild’s Danny Thomas Producer of the Year Awards in Comedy Episodic Television, three Writers Guild Awards for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series and two WGA Awards for Episodic Comedy and a Television Critics Association for Outstanding Achievement in Comedy.

“30 Rock” is from Broadway Video and Little Stranger, Inc. in association with Universal Media Studios. The executive producers are Lorne Michaels (“Saturday Night Live”), Fey, Marci Klein (“Saturday Night Live”), David Miner (“Human Giant”), Robert Carlock (“Friends”), Jeff Richmond ("Baby Mama") and John Riggi ("Will & Grace).

BREAKING NEWS: NBC announces mid-season schedule

In Breaking News, NBC just announced today its midseason schedule, beginning in January 2011. For those many callers who've asked me on Sirius OutQ's The Frank DeCaro Show whether Parks & Recreation would be returning, take note of the revised Thursday schedule below.

Thursday's moves represent a risky strategy for NBC; scheduling six back-to-back comedies to fill up prime time is a move no network has attempted (outside of Fox's animation domination on Sundays) since the early '90s. My prediction is that some of the shows, like Outsourced at 10:30, won't have enough ratings power to survive.

But I like that this schedule shows that NBC knows they need to make some moves to recover from a disastrous recent history -- and here, they're making quite a few of them. Who knows -- people wondered whether ABC would be able to launch 4 new comedies back-to-back on Wednesdays in the fall of 2009, and they ended up with 3 of the shows surviving, and a major hit in Modern Family. So, NBC, I guess time will tell... Here's the announcement and schedule:


11/15/2010 03:15 NBC ANNOUNCES NEW MID-SEASON SCHEDULE

UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. – November 15, 2010 – NBC today made several mid-season schedule announcements, including the premiere dates for four new series – the dramas “The Cape” and “Harry’s Law,” the comedy “Perfect Couples” and the alternative series “America’s Next Great Restaurant.” The lineup also includes series time period changes for “Law & Order: Los Angeles,” “Chase,” “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” and “Parenthood.”

Additionally, returning series “Parks and Recreation,” “The Biggest Loser: Couples,” “Who Do You Think You Are?,” “Minute to Win It,” “The Marriage Ref” and “The Celebrity Apprentice” resume on the schedule while other moves maximize the amount of original, non-repeat programming on the network.

Following are night-by-night details:

Mondays
The new action-filled drama “The Cape” will premiere with a two-hour episode on Sunday, January 9 (9-11 p.m. ET). An encore broadcast of the two-hour episode airs Monday, January 10 (9-11 p.m. ET) with new episodes starting in its regular time period on January 17 (9-10 p.m. ET). The highly buzzed-about drama “The Event” returns with a two-hour edition on Monday, February 28 (9-11 p.m. ET) and begins airing in its regular 9-10 p.m. (ET) time slot on March 7. The new drama “Harry’s Law” debuts at 10-11 p.m. (ET) starting on January 17. “Parenthood” will return on January 4 with new episodes in its current time period (Tuesdays, 10-11 p.m. ET) and will move to Mondays on March 7 at 10-11 p.m. (ET) with original episodes to complete its second season. “Chuck” continues at 8-9 p.m. (ET) on January 17.

Tuesdays
The new season of “The Biggest Loser: Couples” premieres on Tuesday, January 4 at 8-10 p.m. (ET). “Law & Order: Los Angeles” will move to Tuesdays at 10-11 p.m. (ET) on February 8.

Wednesdays
Beginning January 5, “Minute to Win It” returns at 8-9 p.m. (ET). The freshman drama “Chase” relocates to a new night and time at 9-10 p.m. (ET) beginning January 12. “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” moves to a new time beginning with a two-hour episode from 9-11 p.m. (ET) on January 5 before resuming in its regular time of 10-11 p.m. (ET) the next week. The new alternative series “America’s Next Great Restaurant” premieres from 9-10 p.m. (ET) on March 16.

Thursdays
The new Thursday-night lineup features wall-to-wall comedy beginning January 20 with “Community” at 8-8:30 p.m. (ET) followed at the new comedy “Perfect Couples” at 8:30-9 p.m. (ET). “The Office” continues at 9-9:30 p.m. (ET) and “Parks and Recreation” returns from 9:30-10 p.m. (ET). NBC opens a new hour of humor with “30 Rock” moving to 10-10:30 p.m. (ET) and the freshman series “Outsourced” concludes the night at 10:30-11 p.m. (ET).

Fridays
The alternative genealogy series “Who Do You Think You Are?” returns on January 21 (8-9 p.m. ET). “Dateline NBC” will return on January 7 (9-11 p.m. ET).

Sundays
“The Marriage Ref” returns for its second season on March 6 (8-9 p.m. ET) followed by the return of “The Celebrity Apprentice” (9-11 p.m. ET), also on March 6.

For more detailed information and photography on these and other NBC series, please log on to www.nbcumv.com.

The premieres of the new January-March program schedule follow in a grid (all times ET); new series are capitalized.

MONDAYS
8-9 p.m. – “Chuck”
9-10 p.m. – “THE CAPE” will premiere with a two-hour episode on Sunday, January 9 (9-11 p.m.). New episodes start in its regular time period on January 17 (9-10 p.m.)
10-11 p.m. – “HARRY’S LAW’ (beginning January 17)
9-10 p.m. – “The Event” (returns on February 28, 9-11 p.m.; resumes in its regular time slot March 7)
10-11 p.m. -- “Parenthood” (debuts in this slot March 7 with all originals)

TUESDAYS
8-10 p.m. -- “The Biggest Loser: Couples” (beginning January 4)
10-11 p.m. – “Parenthood” (beginning January 4 for four episodes)
10-11 p.m. -- “Law & Order: Los Angeles” (beginning February 8)

WEDNESDAYS
8-9 p.m. -- “Minute to Win It” (beginning January 5)
9-10 p.m. –“Chase” (beginning January 12)
10-11 p.m. – “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” (originals beginning January 5 with two-hour episode, 9-11 p.m. ET)
9-10 p.m. – “AMERICA’S NEXT GREAT RESTAURANT” (beginning March 16)

THURSDAYS (all beginning January 20)
8-8:30 p.m. – “Community”
8:30-9 p.m. – “PERFECT COUPLES”
9-9:30 p.m. – “The Office”
9:30-10 p.m. – “Parks and Recreation”
10-10:30 p.m. – “30 Rock”
10:30-11 p.m. – “Outsourced”

FRIDAYS
8-9 p.m. -- “Who Do You Think You Are?” (beginning January 21)
9-11 p.m. – “Dateline NBC” (beginning January 7)

SUNDAYS
7-8 p.m. – “Dateline NBC”
8-9 p.m. – “The Marriage Ref” (beginning March 6)
9-11 p.m. – “The Celebrity Apprentice” (beginning March 6)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wisconsin Time Warp

On Monday, TBS announced that it has ordered two additional episodes of its upcoming dramedy Glory Daze, bringing the total number of episodes for this first season to 10. The show, which debuts this coming Tuesday, November 16 at 10 PM Eastern, is described as being about "a group of friends who are trying to navigate college life in 1980s Wisconsin."

The description made me wonder: what is it about nostalgia shows set in the Badger State? First the Fonz is thumping Milwaukee's jukeboxes to life on the '50s-set Happy Days, and then spinoff stars Laverne & Shirley are living in a basement apartment on that city's Knapp Street. Then, starting in the late '90s, the kids of That '70s Show were similarly just hanging out in a basement rec room, in the fictional Wisconsin town of Point Place.

It's as if, once you set foot within Wisconsin's borders, you're obligated to trip back in time. Come to think of it, I can think of only one show ever set in Wisconsin that wasn't a period piece: CBS' '90s show Picket Fences, which was a whole other kind of weird. There must be something psychedelic in the state's ubiquitous, yummy cheese curds.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

RIP Ginny Sack

Back in the summer of 2000, I landed my first freelance assignment for TV Guide: to attend an open casting call for HBO’s newest hit, The Sopranos, being held at a high school in Harrison, New Jersey.

Unfortunately, I got stuck in traffic en route – because the show’s producers had vastly underestimated the size of the crowd that would show up. When thousands swarmed the town center of Harrison, and clogged the exit lanes of Interstate 280 in both directions, the town’s cops quickly shut the whole thing down.

I had to cobble together a story – but was later delighted to hear that some good did come of that day. A local New Jersey woman named Denise Borino had been selected to play Ginny Sacrimoni, the wife of Johnny, the New York crime family’s boss. For a follow-up story, I spoke to Borino in February of 2001, as she was filming her first batch of three appearances on the show. Both that day, and when I would subsequently see her at premiere parties for each Sopranos season, Borino – then working as a legal assistant in suburban Morristown-- was down-to-earth, and grateful to have the chance to live out her dream.

Sadly, Denise Borino-Quinn passed away last week of liver cancer, at the young age of 46, just seven months after the death of her husband, Luke Quinn, Jr. Here, my Q&A interview from 2001, with a quintessentially lovely, true Jersey girl.


Q: What is your background? Are you Italian-American like your character, Ginny Sack?

A: I’ve lived in Jersey all my life. I’m originally from Belleville, and then moved to Roseland. I’m 100 % Italian.


Q: How big a fan were you of The Sopranos before your audition?

A: Very big – I never missed a Sunday night. My mom and I would go downstairs, hang out, and watch it together. My whole family is totally ecstatic.


Q: There has been a lot of controversy about the show from some Italian-American groups. How well do you feel show and its characters reflect your own background?

A: Really not at all. That’s not what my family does. Although some of the traditions, like the Sunday dinners, that’s typical.


Q: What do you think attracts people to the show?

A: It’s filmed here in New Jersey. My friends and I look at it and say “I know where that place is. I’ve been there!” I think that’s really cool. I think on the first episode of season one, they mentioned my high school, West Essex. And I was like “Oh my God!” I love it, because it’s like, “I shop there, or I’ve been there.”


Q: Have you always had acting aspirations? What made you go to the casting call?

A: My best friend Maria Galasso made me go. She called and said, “Come on, let’s do this!” and I was hemming and hawing. She said, “Nobody else can say, ‘We tried.’” And then my boss urged me, too. She said, “Oh, go ahead. You should do this. You’re perfect for it. You should go for it.” They were the deciding factor. So I went and had some pictures redone, and off we went.


Q: But aren’t you a little young to be married to Johnny Sack? How old are you in real life?

A: I’m 37. And I say that without lying. It’s funny because Edie Falco and I are like five days apart. I have no plan to lie about my age. I have no reason to. It’s just a number.


Q: Was the open casting call what you had expected?

A: I knew there were going to be tons of people there, with open casting. We got there at 7:30 in the morning, and there were already so many. People had camped out the night before! I couldn’t imagine it. I had figured, “All right, I’ve gotta dress appropriately – flat shoes, gotta be comfortable.” I ended up meeting a lot of nice people, talking to them in line. It was a really fun day. After a while I was known as “stoop girl,” because after so long standing in line, I was parking my behind on somebody’s stoop.


Q: Were you among the lucky few who were seen in person, before the police shut down the whole casting call?

A: Actually, no. I never made it in through the doors. But then, they gave the address to mail pictures to. I mailed both my and Maria’s pictures in. I didn’t have a head shot, so I sent in two pictures – one of me holding my niece Alyssa from her Christening, and one of me and my two brothers from my brother Vincent’s wedding. I just went to CVS and had copies made. Then a month went by, and I got phone call to go into Manhattan and read for a part.


Q: What do you think the casting people saw in you?

A: I guess because I’m an outgoing little, short person, and I’m a huge fan of the show.


Q: What was your reaction when you first got the call to audition for the show?

A: When I had gotten the phone call asking me to come in for my first audition, the girl introduced herself, and I’m like “Who is this?!” She identified herself, and I started screaming, “I can’t believe this is happening!” I called my girlfriend Maria, and we were just yelling on the phone. I never thought it would go even that far.


Q: What happened after that first audition, to the time you learned you had the part?

A: It was really funny, because I had gone to the first audition, and when I came home that afternoon, there was a message that they wanted me to meet with the director and producer for a second audition. Fine, I went and did that. It was the day of my grandmother’s wake, as a matter of fact. I went to the studio, and took a friend with me who happens to be an Essex County sheriff’s detective. I went and read. The woman who went before me was literally waiting for me at the elevator, and said, “You have the part – you were really good.” Then, the day we buried my grandmother, I got the phone call. I screamed so loud that my father came running out of the bathroom thinking I was being murdered.


Q: In the work you’ve done so far on the show, have the other actors treated you like an actor, or a fan, or both?

A: I don’t even think they realized I was a fan. They just treated me like I was an equal to them. The whole cast was wonderful and warm. They immediately all came and introduced themselves to me. It really is like a family.


Q: What has been your impression of your castmates so far?

A: My very first scene was with James Gandolfini. It was totally awesome. He is just a very charismatic, intelligent, wonderful person. Edie Falco is also really a warm, down-to-earth person. I’ve seen her out of costume, and she’s not at all like Carmela. Michael Imperioli and I must have talked for like twenty minutes between scenes. Tony Sirico had me laughing – he’s definitely a character. He immediately came over to me, excused himself, and kissed me hello. Aida Turturro was really funny, introducing herself to me immediately and asking if I liked the new red shoes she bought. And the one person I really got awestruck with was Stevie Van Zandt – he’s like my favorite. I like Bruce [Springsteen], but I really like Stevie.


Q: Has appearing on The Sopranos been like you’d imagined it would be?

A: More. That first day was one of the most extraordinary days of my life. I came home and was like, “Wow, I can’t believe I was with these people, on the number one show!”


Q: Have you told anyone about your part? Your family? Are you allowed?

A: My family knows about my character, but as far as what I’ve done, I won’t discuss it, although my sister-in-law begs and pleads. [The producers] were very specific that I really can’t discuss things, period. My mother immediately wanted to go to my little hometown paper, but I can’t do anything until my first episode airs.


Q: You said Edie Falco looks different when dressed in character. How did the show dress you? Tell me about getting into character and costume.

A: I really can’t answer that. But I can say that the makeup is different, and is a lot more than I normally would wear. And I dress differently from how I’d go to work. But the nails are my own, which are long, because I do nails part time. And I have big hair. BIG hair.


Q: How do the people at work feel about your newfound fame?

A: Both partners of the small firm that I work for are totally ecstatic. They think it’s like the greatest thing in the world. It’s funny because one of the associates had a closing yesterday and he asked me, “Do you have your pictures?” I had taken photos showing Silvercup Studios, and things like that. They were all really awestruck. “This is really cool!”


Q: Forget them -- how do you feel about it?

A: I’m very nonchalant about it – I think it really hasn’t hit me yet. But [for the premiere], I’m having a party at my house. I’m inviting all my friends, my family – people who mean the most to me.


Q: What food will you serve?

A: Subs, hot wings. Knowing my mother, there will probably be a pot of gravy on. My niece Alexa gets highly insulted if there are no neck bones in the gravy. You throw it in with your meatballs, and your sausage, and your braciole. But I don’t know if I’m going to be able to actually sit there and watch myself in front of everybody. My friends already told me they’re gonna tie me to a chair and make me watch.


Q: About those friends, and family -- do they treat you differently now that you’re a star? Do you think they will later?

A: When he first found out I got the part, my brother Christopher said, “Just because you’re a star now, that doesn’t mean you can get out of making coffee on Sunday.”

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Carve Yourself Some Sue Sylvester

She's the coach of an award-winning cheerleading team. She has hidden talents in musical parody, out-Vogueing Madonna. She has TV presence, even if things as Sue "C"s them are completely twisted. Now, add one more talent to Sue Sylvester's resume: she's an expert pumpkin carver.

If like me, you were wondering (among many, many other things) during last night's Rocky Horror-themed episode of Glee, how did Sue carve such an awesome pumpkin likeness of herself, then wonder no more. A quick googling reveals that Sue used a $4.95 downloadable pumpkin stencil -- although she added bats and other details that made hers so perfectly customized.

I also notice that many other fun patterns are available, including the likenesses of actors from another suitably Halloween-esque show, True Blood, and Sue's fellow McKinley High characters Rachel Berry and Finn Hudson. And of course, there's one of her nemesis Will Schuester, so that Sue has something to smash.

Monday, October 25, 2010

A Vampire Masquerade

With Halloween being a natural time to perk up additional interest in its sophomore series The Vampire Diaries, the CW has been sending around the below promo for this coming Thursday's episode, "Masquerade." Just passing it along, for those vamp fans looking for a new screensaver or wallpaper...

Don't Be a Sue. Vote Pat Quinn for Governor.

Behold the continuing power of Fox's Glee. First, its cast appeared in a series of ads for American Express' Members Project, urging the show's young-skewing audience to get involved in public works.

Now, the Democratic gubernatorial incumbent Pat Quinn in Illinois is harnessing the power of the show to point out some of the evils of his Republican opponent, Bill Brady. Watch it now, before right-wing FOX catches on and somehow forces it to be yanked from YouTube.

And if you live in Illinois, please remember while watching and, next Tuesday, voting: do you want to be a Shue, or a Sue?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Last Chance to Hang with Sue Sylvester

Mere hours left to bid on hanging out with the Glee gang, including a personal tour of the show's sets on Hollywood's Paramount lot, with cast members including Sue Sylvester herself, the inimitable Jane Lynch.

Why am I helping spread the word about this auction? Is it because, prompted by the new series of American Express ads featuring the Glee cast, I want not to be like Sue?



Or is it because it gives me the excuse to display the above photo again, from this summer's TV critics tour in Pasadena? You be the judge.

Here's a description of the prize, on the web site CharityFolks. As it states, 80% of the winning bid will go to support the work of the ACLU in Southern California.

Grab 3 friends and head to LA to watch a taping of Glee, tour the sets, and meet Sue Sylvester herself, Jane Lynch, along other cast members! You'll see anywhere from 4-10 musical numbers, as well as scripted scenes, and witness the most awesome crew in show business at work.

Don't take it from us! Here's how Jane answered when Access Hollywood asked her about the auction and what the lucky winners should expect:

WHAT WILL THE WINNER OF THIS AUCTION GET TO WITNESS, EXACTLY?
The winner will get to see just how much work goes in to making one of our episodes. We usually have any where from 4-10 musical numbers in addition to actual scripted scenes. They will get to witness the most awesome crew in show business as well as some incredibly talented young people work their bottoms of from morning until late at night. They may even see one over 50 actress sashay in and out to drop some cleverly written lines.

WILL FANS GET A CHANCE TO HEAR SUE SING AGAIN SOON ON "GLEE"? IF SO, WHEN? COULD YOU GIVE US A HINT?
Sue will being singing a duet with her mother from a great American Musical. Won't give you the name of the actress but here's a hint; she was the star of The Carol Burnett Show.

WHAT'S MOST IMPORTANT TO YOU ABOUT THE WORK BEING DONE BY THE ACLU?
Someone is on the side of our basic rights and will fight for them.

GLEE, the highest-rated new scripted series of the season, boasts critical acclaim, a loyal fan base of “GLEEks,” 2 certified Gold albums, more than 10 million song downloads and 19 Emmy nominations – earning it the distinction of being the most-nominated series of the year. To top it off, the genre-defying, award-winning series has been picked up through its third season.

Terms:

Experience cannot be resold. Meet and greet with Jane is guaranteed; other meet and greets are contingent upon availability. Must be scheduled at a mutually agreed upon date. Transportation and accommodations not included in this auction lot.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A Night at Falcon Crest

If only I'd bought that unlimited JetBlue pass (is that thing still valid for October?) I would have winged out to Beverly Hills for last night's event at The Paley Center, reuniting the cast of the classic '80s CBS soap, Falcon Crest.

But in this digital age, there's always the next best thing. The Paley Center's web site has collected its live tweets from the event, containing cast revelations about the show, here.

And blogger Jim Halterman has posted some fun pre-show video from the red carpet, with such Falcon Crest stalwarts as Lorenzo Lamas (aka Lance Cumson), Ana Alicia (Melissa Agretti), Jamie Rose (Vicki Gioberti), Abby Dalton (Julia Cumson) and the show's creator, 87-year-old Earl Hamner. The videos are below -- and check out Jim's blog here. (And coming soon, he promises: current Castle star Susan Sullivan.)




Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Attend a Sneak-Peek of Caprica

Courtesy of Jane Espenson's blog. Thanks, Jane!

CAPRICA EVENT

Return of the Cylons: The Caprica Season 1.5 Premiere Fan Event!

Join CAPRICA stars Esai Morales, Alessandra Torresani, Sasha Roiz, and executive producers Ronald D. Moore, David Eick, Jane Espenson and Kevin Murphy for the Caprica season 1.5 premiere!

500 dedicated fans will have an exclusive opportunity to be the very first to see CAPRICA's return at a free private screening with the cast an d producers on Sunday, October 3 at the Globe Theatre at Universal Studios Hollywood! Gates open at 6:30 PM and the cast and producers will kick off and close the event.

To get your ticket for this exciting celebration of CAPRICA'S return, please send your name, e-mail address, & # of tickets (max of 6 per person) to frak@nbcuni.com. An email confirmation with a link to your printable bar-coded ticket will arrive within 24 hours. Only the first 500 guests with tickets will be guaranteed entrance.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Late Night on the Great White Way

Fresh from doing a nice job hosting the Emmy Awards this past August 29, Jimmy Fallon announces today that all next week (leading up to Jimmy's -- and my -- birthday on Sept 19), his show will be hosting a cadre of the biggest stars on Broadway.

Check out today's NBC press release, below.

NBC's 'LATE NIGHT WITH JIMMY FALLON' BRINGS BROADWAY FROM NYC TO YOUR TV WITH ITS FIRST EVER BROADWAY WEEK

NEW YORK September 10, 2010 - "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" is excited to announce its first ever LNJF Broadway Week. The week will showcase all the biggest hits the Great White Way has to offer, from pounding punk rock to 60s swing. Starting September 13th, Jimmy will welcome a different Broadway musical to the Late Night studios each night .

The curtain will go up on Monday when David Bryan from Bon Jovi introduces a performance by the cast of "Memphis." The musical explores the underground dance clubs of the 1950s with explosive dancing, irresistible songs and a thrilling tale of fame and forbidden love. The show was the winner of four 2010 Tony Awards, including Best Musical.

Tuesday brings "Promises, Promises" to the Studio 6B stage. This revival of the 1968 musical is based on the Oscar-winning Billy Wilder film "The Apartment" and it stars Emmy Award winner Sean Hayes.

Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day arrives to introduce the Tony Award winning musical "American Idiot" when they makes an appearance on Wednesday, telling the story of three lifelong friends, forced to choose between their dreams and the safety of suburbia. Their quest for true meaning in a post 9-11 world leads them on an exhilarating journey.

Thursday will feature "Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson." Cheered by the New York Times and Rolling Stone as "the season's best musical", the show began its life at the Public Theatre (which birthed "Hair" and "A Chirus Line") and begins performances on Broadway next Monday.

Make sure to tune-in to see what other Broadway inspired surprises Jimmy has in store!

No Doubt Taking Cabot Cove's nightclubs by storm

Take a listen to "Murder in the Club," the latest bizarre mash-up of 50 Cent and, of all things... the theme from Murder, She Wrote! Unfortunately, the execution is as cacophonous as the idea is hilarious. But you gotta give them points for trying.


Hell, if Carol Channing can rap on-stage with LL COOL J, then why can't Jessica Fletcher get it on with Fitty? (Paging Angela Lansbury...)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Go Undercovers at New York's London

Sadly, this sweepstakes' prize, a NYC hotel room, does not come fully stocked with the gorgeous stars of Undercovers, Boris Kodjoe and Gugu Mbatha-Raw. Still, the London hotel? Gordon Ramsay food? Private screening? What could be bad?

NBC.COM ANNOUNCES THE 'UNDERCOVERS: GET A ROOM PRIVATE SCREENING’ ONLINE SWEEPSTAKES TO PROMOTE DEBUT OF NBC’S NEW DRAMA ‘UNDERCOVERS’ WITH ALL-EXPENSE-PAID ROMANTIC ADVENTURE TO NEW YORK CITY

UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. – September 1, 2010 – NBC.com announced the "Undercovers: Get A Room Private Screening" romantic online sweepstakes to promote the debut of the new drama “Undercovers” today. The sweepstakes, which will reward five lucky winners with an all-expense-paid romantic adventure for two to New York City for a luxurious stay at the posh London Hotel, dinner at the Gordan Ramsay restaurant and includes a private in-room advance screening for each couple.

The announcement was made today by Vivi Zigler, President of NBCU Digital Entertainment, who said: “NBC.com continues to find new ways to create unique experiences for our fans and we are thrilled to provide this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity tied to one of this fall’s most anticipated new series in 'Undercovers.'"

Viewers can enter at http://www.nbc.com/undercovers/sweepstakes/.

Undercovers" premieres on Wednesday, September 22 (8-9 p.m. ET) on NBC.

The “Undercovers -- Get A Room Private Screening” online sweepstakes will give fans the chance to win their own personal premiere experience in New York City. The winner will receive an all-expense-paid trip for two including round-trip transportation, a romantic dinner for two at the Gordan Ramsay restaurant, a pampered hotel stay at the posh London hotel complete with spa services and other amenities, and a chance to get under the covers while watching “Undercovers” in a private in-room screening.

Members of NBC.com's new affinity program, Fan It, are able to redeem their points for multiple entries. Those interested can become a Fan It member by visitng nbc.com/fan-it.

From acclaimed writer/producer/director J.J. Abrams ("Star Trek," “Fringe,” "Lost," "Alias") and executive producer/writer Josh Reims (“Brothers and Sisters,” “What About Brian”) comes “Undercovers,” a sexy, fun, action-packed spy drama that proves once and for all that marriage is still the world's most dangerous partnership.

Outwardly, Steven Bloom (Boris Kodjoe, “Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Family Vacation”) and his wife, Samantha (Gugu Mbatha-Raw, “Dr. Who”), are a typical married couple who own and operate a small catering company in Los Angeles. Secretly, the duo were two of the best spies the CIA had ever known, until they fell in love on the job five years ago and retired. When fellow spy and good friend Leo Nash (Carter MacIntyre, "American Heiress") goes missing while on the trail of a Russian arms dealer, the Blooms are reinstated by boss and agency liaison, Carlton Shaw (Gerald McRaney, "Deadwood," "Jericho"), to locate and rescue Nash.

The pair suddenly is thrust back into the world of espionage, disguises and hand-to-hand combat in adventures that span the globe.

Steven and Samantha quickly realize that perhaps this supercharged, undercover lifestyle provides exactly the kind of excitement and romance that their marriage has been missing.

Applicants can enter now through September 6 by visiting http://www.nbc.com/undercovers/sweepstakes/. The winner will be notified for travel itinerary on September 8 and will fly to New York on September 20.


Friday, August 6, 2010

Hamster-eating Diana is back!

NOW I'll tune in to the new V! Check here: Original 'V' star Jane Badler joins Season 2 of ABC reboot - From Inside the Box - Zap2it

Now We Know What's in Sophia's Purse!

How cool is this? Disney/Buena Vista, rightsholder to The Golden Girls, announces a new full-series box set -- get this -- contained in a replica of Sophia's straw purse! Sadly, though, still no Golden Palace.

Check it out below (courtesy of www.tvshowsondvd.com.)

The Golden Girls - '25th Anniversary Complete Collection' in a Collectible Replica of Sophia's Purse


Includes all seven seasons of the show, plus a collectible deck of Golden Girls playing cards


A short time ago today, ABC Studios and Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment announced the 21-DVD release of The Golden Girls - 25th Anniversary Complete Collection. All 7 seasons of the show (180 episodes, approx. 3800 minutes) will be compiled into one special package that is designed in the form of Sophia's purse! Included in this collectible package, shown below, is a set of collectible playing cards featuring Sophie (Estelle Getty) on the Spades, Dorothy (Bea Arthur) on the Clubs, Blanche (Rue McClanahan) on the Diamonds, and Rose (Betty White) on the Hearts.

This is available beginning November 9th. On-disc extras will be the same as the special features seen in the individual season set DVD packages that have been previously released. List price is $149.99 SRP in the United States, and CA$199.00 SRP in Canada; you can pre-order it from Amazon at a discount using the button link immediately below. It's followed by the "purse packaging". With this release, we realize that passionate fans will say this collection is not "complete" because it does not contain episodes of the spin-off series, Golden Palace. Unfortunately we still don't have any word about a home video release of that series, which the studio considers to be a separate entity fromThe Golden Girls. If we ever find out that it's coming, though, we'll be certain to let everyone know!

Taken from:http://www.tvshowsondvd.com/news/Golden-Girls-Complete-Collection/14207#ixzz0vruowt00

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Uhura Celebrates Equality

I had seen the ever-beautiful Nichelle Nichols just two years back, as she appeared at the closing night ceremony for Outfest, the Los Angeles LGBT film festival. The pioneering actress, who as Star Trek's fourth-in-command Lieutenant Uhura was the first African-American actress on TV not playing a maid or other servant, was on stage as a star of the 2008 film Tru Loved, and to receive the ACLU's Liberty and Justice award from her Trek co-star, George Takei.

Today at the Television Critics Association convention in Beverly Hills, Nichols joined a panel promoting PBS' special, Pioneers of Primetime, along with four other amazing actors: Robert Conrad, from Hawaiian Eye and Wild Wild West; Mannix's Mike Connors; Mission: Impossible's Martin Landau; and Linda Evans, of Big Valley and Dynasty.

We reporters asked each actor for his or her favorite memory from their iconic series, and Nichols' was by far the most affecting. At the time she was making history, she remembers, she actually felt frustrated that Star Trek was keeping her from the career she'd always dreamed of in musical theater. And so, at the end of season 1, she submitted her resignation to that show's legendary creator, Gene Roddenberry.

But that very night, as she appeared at a fundraiser for the NAACP, Nichols was told that her "biggest fan" wanted to meet her. And there, approaching from across the room, was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr. King reminded the actress of the importance of the image she was portraying for America, as a positive role model inspiring millions. That Monday, she rescinded her resignation, and continued to make history.

At a reception after today's panel, I had the pleasure of meeting Ms. Nichols. And after hearing her speak so eloquently about civil rights, I also had the pleasure of breaking the news to her of today's court decision overturning California's Proposition 8. (The news had only begun to break on the internet just as the five actors were taking their seats on stage.)

Below, the words of this groundbreaking icon, at today's historic moment:

Must-Hear TV: Here we are, invoking the name of Dr. King on what turned out to be an important day for Civil Rights. How do you feel about hearing that Prop 8 was overturned?

Nichelle Nichols: Amen! America has another chance to be America. Everything you see on TV is the “No” party saying "No, no, no." The Republicans shape the news and say this, and everybody repeats it. They said this would never happen. So all the commentators repeated it like little parrots. I’m so sick of the TV news, I could cry.

MHTV: Do you feel that the LGBT civil rights struggle is following the same arc that African-Americans did 40 years ago?

NN: I don’t think there’s a comparison. There are lesbians and gay people in every lifestyle and community. And to deny it is ridiculous. As black people, our thing was totally different.

MHTV: True. You can’t be in the closet.

NN: Exactly. Nor would I ever want to. But understanding what you’re talking about, I think that eventually everyone will win. Because we all deserve to be who we are.

MHTV: What a great way to end. From your lips to God’s ears.

NN: And She is listening!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Kung Fu of the Emerald Isle

Today at TCA, the CW produced a panel with the producers and stars of its hotly anticipated new show Nikita, the second TV adaptation of the famous French film La Femme Nikita from 1990. (In fact, this new series even films on the same Toronto studios as the 1997-2001 USA Network original which starred Peta Wilson.)

This version stars the beautiful Maggie Q, who I first noticed in the latest Die Hard movie, but who fans of martial arts films may know, from her days training in Asia for such flicks as a protegee of Jackie Chan. And as I first learned at the CW upfront this past May and noticed again today, she's not just kick-ass and gorgeous, but funny, too. (At one point, in response to a question about how much fighting expertise is required for the show, she noted, "I'm half Asian, so people think we all do kung fu all the time. Wake up, do kung fu, brush your teeth...")

One critic asked the panel whether Maggie Q shortened her last name in order to be able to work with the series' producer/director, the accomplished action director McG. The pairing sure sounds hip and exotic -- until McG noted that their real, full names, Quigley for Maggie and McGinty for himself, are both Irish in extraction. (I'm tempted to make bad puns like "the Irish spring into action," etc. but I'll avoid the temptation...)

More on Nikita, including words from co-star Shane West as Michael, to come...!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

CBS Goes Gayer

Last week, the gay media watchdog group GLAAD issued its annual report card, where it grades TV networks on their representation -- or lack thereof -- of LGBT characters. As in the past, in GLAAD's estimation, CBS flunked out.

This morning, at the very start of the two-week Television Critics of America press tour in Beverly Hills, CBS President Nina Tassler was asked to address the failing grade.

The network, she said first of all, did have a few gay characters in some of their pilots for this fall, but none of those got picked up. And so, she says, "We're adding a few characters to this season because we're very disappointed in our track record so far. We know, and we will do better."

There will be at least three new gay characters on CBS this fall, Tassler pointed out. We will meet Alicia Florrick's gay brother in season 2 of The Good Wife. On Rules of Engagement this fall, we'll meet the lesbian from Jeff's softball team who will become the surrogate mother for Audrey and him. And on S#*! My Dad Says, Tim Bagley's gay DMV worker -- in my estimation, the best part of that show's pilot -- has become a series regular.

Stay tuned for more news coming out of the TCA, including spoilers from Desperate Housewives' upcoming season 7!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Cleveland Rewrites Miami, and "Americain," History

This week, if you've tuned in to The View, or The Joy Behar Show, or The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, or... hell, if you've been conscious, you've probably seen one of the ladies of TVLand's promising new original sitcom, Hot In Cleveland, out on the talk show circuit.

The show, TVLand's first original comedy, has an impressive pedigree: it was created by Suzanne Martin, who once worked on Frasier, and executive produced by Sean Hayes, whom we all love from one of my favorite comedies ever, Will & Grace. And its cast hails from long-running shows we all have loved: Valerie Bertinelli from One Day at a Time, Wendie Malick from Dream On and Just Shoot Me, and Jane Leeves, also from Frasier.

But there are other, less obvious sitcom antecedents for Hot In Cleveland, which today received a quite positive review from the hard-to-impress New York Times. Think about it: four women "of a certain age," living together -- Betty White among them. Yes, although the ladies of Cleveland may at first seem younger than Betty, Bea Arthur, Rue McClanahan and Estelle Getty were in 1985, this just could be this generation's Golden Girls.

Fans have been asking for decades different versions of the question: why are there no comedies like The Golden Girls anymore? Why no comedies about older women? Why no decent network programming on a Saturday night? Why can't they just remake The Golden Girls? Hell, why can't the networks seem to launch very many quality comedies at all anymore? (It's telling that it's taking a cable network to take a chance with these 4 gals in their 40s and beyond.)

I've seen parts of the pilot episode, and the four Cleveland gals are sassy like the Girls -- and Betty is in as fine shape as ever. Yes, of course, they seem much younger and hotter than the Girls ever were -- and that's kind of the generational point. When The Golden Girls launched in 1985, its oldest actress, Betty, was 63, and its youngest, Rue, was not yet 51. And the show featured a character, Sophia, who was in her 80s, even if the actress playing her, Estelle, was in real life much younger.

Demographically, Hot in Cleveland isn't much different. Wendie will turn 60 this December. Its youngest star, Jane, is 49. (Valerie just turned 50.) And it also features a character in her 80s, this time played by a real-life 88-year-old dynamo, Betty.

I think that if Hot in Cleveland is a hit, some day academics will compare it to The Golden Girls, and talk about the shows together show "disenfranchised" women in two different generations. Back then, the Girls were considered old, and banded together to save on expenses, and to guarantee healthcare as they aged. The Hot in Cleveland girls are, in the pilot, women who struggle to stay young in competitive L.A., but by any other city's standard -- namely, Cleveland's -- are still beautiful and desirable. And so, when the four ladies have an emergency stopover in that Ohio city, instead of continuing on their Paris getaway, they decided to stay where they feel desired. Isn't that the 21st Century take on the same theme?

By the way, as long as I'm going on about antecedents, I think it's interesting to note that back in 1993, Valerie Bertinelli headlined another, now-forgotten sitcom, Cafe Americain -- in which her character Holly, also seemingly lost in life, heads for Paris. In that show, there was no airline stopover; Holly made it to Paris, worked in the titular expatriate cafe, and found a love interest in writer Marcel (Maurice Godin.)

So in my trivia-filled mind, I kind of consider Hot in Cleveland to be that show's sequel series, allowing Valerie to find love this time closer to home where we want her. (But Hot in Cleveland writers: I wouldn't mind a cameo from Sofia Milos as model Fabiana Borreli, or the fabulous Jodi Long as the deposed dictator's wife, Madame Ybarra. N'est-ce pas?)

Hot in Cleveland
debuts tonight, June 16
10 PM Eastern/Pacific
TV Land

Monday, June 14, 2010

My Morning with Chuck Barris: No Gongs!

Recently, I had the opportunity to sit down with Chuck Barris for an entire morning, as we conducted an interview about the TV game show impresario's life and career for the Archive of American Television.

In the interview, which will be available for viewing online sometime in the months ahead, the amiable Barris talked about his creation of three shows which changed the nature of the entire genre: The Dating Game, The Newlywed Game, and The Gong Show -- among others.

That last one, along with the $1.98 Beauty Show, was one of my earliest -- and trippiest -- TV memories. I hadn't known that Barris ended up hosting The Gong Show after its original host, Real People's John Barbour, left (he wanted the show to be more of a genuine talent show, rather than showcasing deliberately bad "talent.")

And yes, I did bring up Barris' claim, from his 1982 memoir Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, that at the same time as he was working on game shows, he was also traveling the world as a secret CIA assassin. And as for the veracity of the claim: I still don't know. Whatever Barris knows, he's not telling. Which either makes him my most eccentric interviewee yet -- which is saying something, compared to a few of the others! -- or a pretty good CIA guy, good at keeping quiet.

The interview, at New York's Parker Meridien hotel, went right up to the present day, including his 7th book, just released June 1 by Simon & Schuster: Della: a Memoir of My Daughter. Barris' only child Della died in 1998 at age 36, of a drug overdose. I haven't read the book yet, but from the very frank and moving things Barris had to say about his beloved daughter during our time together, I can imagine it's very moving.

The interviews work chronologically, and so this new book was the last project we discussed. In a way, it was a tough way to end our time together, which had included a lot of laughs as Chuck looked back at some of the wackiest moments from his shows -- yes, we discussed the "In the butt, Bob" Newlywed moment.

But heck, I was just happy I didn't get the Gong!

Just Sayin'...

It was nice that the Tonys remembered some of my favorite performers in this year's In Memoriam segment, like Dixie Carter, and Lena Horne, and Lynn Redgrave, and Rue McClanahan.

It would have been even nicer if they'd spelled Rue's name correctly...

Sunday, June 13, 2010

That Guy! Denis O'Hare

TV Squad's fun interview with a friend, an amazing actor who already has a Tony for Take Me Out and who's now really about to get his due in terms of name recognition starting tonight, with the debut of season 3 of True Blood. Click here: That Guy! Denis O'Hare

Friday, June 11, 2010

Larry the Whale on Ellen

This isn't TV breaking news, but I just had to share.

The fact that such beautiful animal species continue to shepherd us -- despite how we abuse them and our planet -- is proof enough to me that there is a God.









Sunday, June 6, 2010

My Reminiscences about Rue

For my remembrances of meeting Rue McClanahan, check out this piece, which I wrote for tvsquad.com: Memories of Rue McClanahan and 'The Golden Girls' as Gay Icons

Thursday, June 3, 2010

I Heart Betty, and Hot in Cleveland

2010 has been the year of Betty White. And now that we've lost her fellow Golden Girl Rue McClanahan, we need to show Betty the love more than ever. That's why I was glad to see a batch of new goodies available on Facebook, care of Betty's new TVLand sitcom Hot in Cleveland, which debuts on June 16.
Click here for your very own Betty button -- and a bunch of other Cleveland-related stuff!

RIP Rue McClanahan 1934-2010

This is too much. For those of us raised on TV in the '80s, it seems like our small screens are collapsing in on us. First in the past 2 years, we lose Golden Girls Estelle Getty and Bea Arthur. Then, a few months back, a shock when Designing Women's Dixie Carter passed away. Last week, there was Diff'rent Strokes' Gary Coleman, at only age 42. And today, I was so sad to hear about the passing of the beloved Rue McClanahan.

Back in 2006, I had the honor of interviewing Rue, Bea and Betty White in their respective homes, as I did research for my book The Q Guide to The Golden Girls. None of the ladies disappointed -- they were all as fun and vibrant as you'd ever hope -- and the days I spent with them have become fodder for some stories I've even told on stage as of late.

My interviews with Bea and Betty were audio only -- but with Rue, I lucked out, and was able to combine forces with the Archive of American Television. The result is an hours-long, up-close-and-personal portrait of the lady, covering everything from birth through her late career (off camera, Rue hinted that she was talking about doing a new series, which ended up being Del Shores' wonderful Sordid Lives.)

Here's the link to Part 1 of Rue's interview. I just rewatched it, and was struck all over again how charming and funny she was. We'll always love you, Rue!


Monday, May 17, 2010

FOX announces 2010-11 schedule

In a conference call this morning, in advance of the network's upfront presentation to advertisers this afternoon at New York's Beacon Theater, Fox has announced its schedule for Fall 2010-2011.

The schedule shows an impressive commitment to comedy, including Running Wilde, a promising new show from Arrested Development creator Mitch Hurwitz. There's a new animated show for Sunday nights in the spring, Bob's Burgers. And although Fox makes me nervous in how it develops new and innovative sci-fi shows, and then tends to dump them without too much remorse (remember Dollhouse or Sarah Connor Chronicles?), there's an intriguing new sci-fi show from producer Steven Spielberg (!), Terra Nova.

And rest assured, some "bubble" shows, like Human Target and Lie To Me, are renewed. As for cancellations? One journalist on the call asked about the fate of Sons of Tucson, the sitcom which debuted in the spring to poor ratings. According to network president Kevin Reilly, the show will complete its run this summer, and is unlikely to return, "although stranger things have happened." I guess we can interpret that as: only if there's a ratings miracle this summer.

Of course, there were the perennial questions about American Idol, and who will replace Simon Cowell as judge; those things have not been decided yet and won't need to be, the FOX execs say, until September, when auditions for the new season begin.

And Glee fans, take note: this year, the show will get the plum post Super Bowl slot!

Check out the full schedule below.

FOX ANNOUNCES PRIMETIME SLATE

FOR 2010-2011 SEASON

FOUR NEW COMEDIES, THREE NEW DRAMAS JOIN SCHEDULE

FALL TUESDAY COMEDY BLOCK TO FEATURE

NEW FAMILY COMEDY “RAISING HOPE”

AND NEW ROMANTIC COMEDY “RUNNING WILDE”

STARRING WILL ARNETT AND KERI RUSSELL

COMPELLING NEW DRAMA “LONESTAR” TO DEBUT IN FALL

NEW ACTION-ADVENTURE FAMILY DRAMA “TERRA NOVA”

SLATED FOR MIDSEASON

NEW ANIMATED COMEDY “BOB’S BURGERS”

AND NEW FAST-PACED DRAMA “RIDE-ALONG” TO PREMIERE MIDSEASON

NEW ENSEMBLE COMEDY “MIXED SIGNALS”

TO DEBUT IN SPRING

Special Episode of GLEE to Air Following SUPER BOWL XLV

Sunday, February 6, 2011

New York (Monday, May 17, 2010) – Peter Rice, Chairman, Entertainment, Fox Networks Group; and Kevin Reilly, President, Entertainment, Fox Broadcasting Company, today unveiled the FOX primetime schedule for the 2010-2011 television season to the national advertising community during its annual Programming Presentation at The New Beacon Theatre.

“FOX has been the No. 1 network for six consecutive seasons not only because our programs are hits, but also because they’re the most engaging shows on television,” said Rice. “We’re very excited to add a full slate of creative, original new series next season that will help us continue to capture imaginations and draw people back to FOX week after week.”

-more-

FOX 2010-2011 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE – Page 2

“Last season, we did what FOX does best: we took some risks that paid off. Now we’re going to up the ante with an even more diverse and creative roster of programs for next year,” said Reilly. “With three daring new dramas, a fresh new animated series and three new live-action comedies, we’re positioned to rebuild the FOX comedy brand, introduce the next generation of unique characters and deliver an even more compelling experience for our viewers next season.”

GLEE, the No. 1 new series of this season among Adults 18-49 and key demos, returns for its sophomore season to anchor a new Tuesday comedy block. Premiering this fall is RAISING HOPE, the new family comedy from Emmy Award winner Greg Garcia (“My Name Is Earl”), starring Lucas Neff (“The Beast”), Martha Plimpton (“How To Make It In America”), Garret Dillahunt (“Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles”) and Academy and Emmy Award winner Cloris Leachman (“Malcolm In The Middle”). The sweet, offbeat comedy follows Jimmy Chance (Neff), a well-meaning screw-up trying his best to raise his infant daughter with the help of the eccentric family who did a less-than-stellar job of raising him.

Also debuting this fall is RUNNING WILDE, the new romantic comedy from “Arrested Development’s” Jim Vallely, Mitch Hurwitz and Will Arnett. Starring Arnett (“30 Rock”) and Keri Russell (“Waitress,” “Felicity”), the comedy centers on a lovable, but immature playboy (Arnett) trying desperately to win (or buy) the heart of his childhood sweetheart (Russell), the über-liberal humanitarian who got away.

LONESTAR, a sophisticated and provocative drama set against the sprawling backdrop of big Texas oil, will premiere this fall. From Chris Keyser and Amy Lippman (“Party of Five”), writer Kyle Killen and directed by Marc Webb (“(500) Days of Summer”), the compelling series stars newcomer James Wolk as a charismatic and brilliant schemer who has entangled himself in a deep, complex web from which he can’t break free. He’s caught between two very different lives and two very different women.

TERRA NOVA, an epic family adventure 85 million years in the making, is the new event drama slated for midseason from executive producers Steven Spielberg (“Jurassic Park,” “The Pacific”), Peter Chernin, Brannon Braga (24, “Star Trek: Enterprise”) and David Fury (24, “Lost”). The action-adventure series follows an ordinary family on an extraordinary journey back in time to prehistoric Earth as a part of a massive expedition to save the human race.

Joining the Sunday ANIMATION DOMINATION lineup in midseason is BOB’S BURGERS, a new animated comedy series from creator Loren Bouchard (“Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist”) about a man, his family and their floundering burger joint. Despite the greasy counters, lousy location and occasionally spotty service, Bob and his lovable and quirky family are convinced their burgers are their ticket to success.

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FOX 2010-2011 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE – Page 3

The new drama scheduled for a midseason debut is RIDE-ALONG. From creator Shawn Ryan (“The Shield,” “The Unit”), the fast-paced series, shot on location in Chicago and starring Jason Clarke (“Public Enemies”), Jennifer Beals (LIE TO ME) and Delroy Lindo (“Kidnapped”), will take audiences on an unflinching and unpredictable ride through the streets of Chicago to navigate crime and corruption with the most respected – and notorious – cops in the city.

MIXED SIGNALS, scheduled for a spring premiere, is a new relationship comedy created by Bob Fisher (“Wedding Crashers”) about three longtime friends and their attempts to balance their committed relationships with their desire for freedom. The ensemble comedy stars Nelson Franklin (“I Love You, Man”), David Denman (“The Office”), Kris Marshall (HUMAN TARGET), Liza Lapira (“Dexter”) and Alexandra Breckenridge (FAMILY GUY) and reveals how friendships and romances enhance – and further complicate – the lives of men and the women who love them.

It was also announced that a very special GLEE will air following SUPER BOWL XLV on Sunday, February 6. GLEE, the most award-winning series of the year, will then make its spring premiere Wednesdays following AMERICAN IDOL.

Other FOX series returning in 2010-2011 include: AMERICAN DAD (Season 6), AMERICAN IDOL (Season 10) AMERICA’S MOST WANTED (Season 24), BONES (Season 6), THE CLEVELAND SHOW (Season 2), COPS (Season 23), FAMILY GUY (Season 8), FRINGE (Season 3), THE GOOD GUYS (Season 1), HELL’S KITCHEN (Seasons 7 and 8), HOUSE (Season 7), HUMAN TARGET (Season 2), KITCHEN NIGHTMARES (Season 3), LIE TO ME (Season 3), THE SIMPSONS (Season 22) and SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE (Season 7). Specials returning to the FOX schedule include NEW YEAR’S EVE LIVE and TEEN CHOICE 2010.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Gallery and episodic photos from the new and returning series are available at www.foxflash.com/2010-2011slate. Additionally, promotional video from the new series will be posted to www.foxflash.com at the conclusion of the FOX 2010 Programming Presentation at approximately 5:00 PM ET today.]

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FOX 2010-2011 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE – Page 4

Following are the FOX 2010-2011 primetime schedule and synopses of the new series:

FOX FALL 2010 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE

(All Times ET/PT)

MONDAY

8:00-9:00 PM HOUSE

9:00-10:00 PM LONESTAR (new)

TUESDAY

8:00-9:00 PM GLEE

9:00-9:30 PM RAISING HOPE (new)

9:30-10:00 PM RUNNING WILDE (new)

WEDNESDAY

8:00-9:00 PM LIE TO ME

9:00-10:00 PM HELL’S KITCHEN

THURSDAY

8:00-9:00 PM BONES

9:00-10:00 PM FRINGE

FRIDAY

8:00-9:00 PM HUMAN TARGET

9:00-10:00 PM THE GOOD GUYS

SATURDAY

8:00-8:30 PM COPS

8:30-9:00 PM COPS

9:00-10:00 PM AMERICA’S MOST WANTED

SUNDAY

7:00-8:00 PM THE OT (NFL post-game)

8:00-8:30 PM THE SIMPSONS

8:30-9:00 PM THE CLEVELAND SHOW

9:00-9:30 PM FAMILY GUY

9:30-10:00 PM AMERICAN DAD

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FOX 2010-2011 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE – Page 5

FOX MIDSEASON 2011 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE

(All Times ET/PT)

MONDAY

8:00-9:00 PM HOUSE

9:00-10:00 PM LONESTAR (new) / RIDE-ALONG (new)

TUESDAY

8:00-9:30 PM AMERICAN IDOL Performance Show

9:30-10:00 PM RUNNING WILDE (new) / MIXED SIGNALS (new; spring)

WEDNESDAY

8:00-8:30 PM RAISING HOPE (new)

8:30-9:00 PM AMERICAN IDOL Results Show

9:00-10:00 PM GLEE

THURSDAY

8:00-9:00 PM BONES

9:00-10:00 PM FRINGE

FRIDAY

8:00-9:00 PM HUMAN TARGET

9:00-10:00 PM KITCHEN NIGHTMARES

SATURDAY

8:00-8:30 PM COPS

8:30-9:00 PM COPS

9:00-10:00 PM AMERICA’S MOST WANTED

SUNDAY

7:00-7:30 PM THE SIMPSONS (encores)

7:30-8:00 PM AMERICAN DAD

8:00-8:30 PM THE SIMPSONS

8:30-9:00 PM BOB’S BURGERS (new)

9:00-9:30 PM FAMILY GUY

9:30-10:00 PM THE CLEVELAND SHOW

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FOX 2010-2011 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE – Page 6

FOX 2010-2011 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE

NEW SERIES SYNOPSES

The following new comedies will premiere this fall on FOX:

RAISING HOPE

RAISING HOPE is a new single-camera family comedy from Emmy Award winner Greg Garcia (“My Name Is Earl”) that follows the Chance family as they find themselves adding an unexpected new member into their already terribly flawed household. At 23 years old, JIMMY CHANCE (Lucas Neff, “The Beast”) is going nowhere in life. He skims pools for a living, parties every night and still lives at home with his family, including his MAW MAW (guest star Academy Award and Emmy Award winner Cloris Leachman); his mother, VIRGINIA (Martha Plimpton, “How to Make It in America”); his father, BURT (Garret Dillahunt, “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles,” “Damages”); and his cousin, MIKE (Skyler Stone, “The Mentalist,” “Dollhouse”). Jimmy’s life takes a drastic turn when a chance romantic encounter with LUCY (guest star Bijou Phillips, “Choke,” “Almost Famous”) goes awry once he discovers she is a wanted felon. Months later, when Jimmy pays a visit to the local prison, he discovers Lucy gave birth to their baby, who he is now charged with raising. At home with his new daughter, Jimmy’s family is less than enthusiastic about a new addition to the household. His parents, who had him when they were 15, never knew anything about raising a child and have no interest in trying again. If Jimmy can work up the nerve to ask her out on a date, he might get some help from SABRINA (Shannon Woodward, “The Riches,” “ER”), a sardonic checkout clerk he met at the supermarket. Cousin Mike is only concerned about how the baby is going to affect their social life, and out-of-touch Maw Maw is no help either. But Jimmy is determined to take care of his baby – whom Virginia thinks they should name HOPE. With very few useful skills but their hearts in the right place, will the Chance family be successful when they step into the unpredictable and immensely challenging world of parenting?

PRODUCTION COMPANIES: Amigos de Garcia Productions, 20th Century Fox Television

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER/WRITER: Greg Garcia

DIRECTOR: Michael Fresco

CAST: Garret Dillahunt as Burt, Lucas Neff as Jimmy, Martha Plimpton as Virginia, Skyler Stone as Mike, Shannon Woodward as Sabrina

GUEST CAST: Cloris Leachman as Maw Maw, Bijou Phillips as Lucy

RUNNING WILDE

From the Emmy Award-winning creator and the star of the critically acclaimed FOX series “Arrested Development” comes RUNNING WILDE, a romantic comedy starring Will Arnett (“Arrested Development,” “30 Rock”) as STEVE WILDE, a filthy-rich, immature playboy trying desperately to win (or buy) the heart of his childhood sweetheart, EMMY KADUBIC (Keri Russell, “Waitress,” “Felicity”), the über-liberal humanitarian who got away – all told through the perspective of a 12-year-old girl. Steve Wilde has never performed a selfless act. But why should he – he’s rich! The son of an oil tycoon, Steve hasn’t had to work a day in his life and has always gotten everything he’s wanted – with one exception: the love of Emmy. The daughter of a former Wilde housekeeper, Emmy is an earnest do-gooder who has spent her adult life trying to save the world. And though Emmy is content living with an indigenous tribe in the Amazon rainforest, her 12-year-old daughter, PUDDLE (Stefania Owen, “The Lovely Bones”), just wants to be a normal kid experiencing her adolescence in a normal place. And she would speak up except for the fact that she hasn’t spoken in years. When Wilde Oil’s expansion in the rainforest threatens her adopted tribe, Emmy decides to attend Steve’s self-thrown “Humanitarian of the Year” award ceremony in hopes of convincing him to help her cause…and also maybe because she still has a thing for Steve. But same-old Steve is unwilling to help because fighting Wilde Oil (a/k/a Dad) means putting his meal ticket in jeopardy. Rather than run the risk of letting Emmy slip away again, Steve pulls out all the stops to win her heart. To do so, he enlists the only other people in his life who can help: MIGO SALAZAR (Joe Nuñez, “Superbad,” “Prison Break”), Steve’s employee/sidekick/errand-boy, and GERTIE STELLVERTRETTER (Jayne Houdyshell, “Law & Order”), Steve’s nanny-turned-head-of-security as well as the biggest protector of Steve…and her own job. Despite having everything he ever wanted, Steve knows he can’t buy love and happiness, which falls in sharp contrast to Emmy, who has nothing but love and happiness. So with Emmy committed to doing good for nothing, and Steve being a good for nothing, will this hopelessly mismatched pair ever be able to reconcile their differences?

PRODUCTION COMPANIES: Tantamount Studios, Five Hole Pictures, Principato-Young Management, Lionsgate Television

CREATORS/WRITERS: Mitch Hurwitz, Jim Vallely, Will Arnett

EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Mitch Hurwitz, Jim Vallely, Will Arnett, Eric Tannenbaum, Kim Tannenbaum, Peter Principato, Paul Young, Anthony Russo, Joe Russo

DIRECTORS: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo

CAST: Will Arnett as Steve Wilde, Keri Russell as Emmy Kadubic, Stefania Owen as Puddle Kadubic, Joe Nuñez as Migo Salazar, Jayne Houdyshell as Gertie Stellvertretter

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FOX 2010-2011 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE – Page 7

The following new drama will debut this fall on FOX:

LONESTAR

From Chris Keyser and Amy Lippman, the creators of “Party of Five”; Marc Webb, the director of “(500) Days of Summer”; and creator Kyle Killen, comes LONESTAR, a provocative soap set against the backdrop of big Texas oil. ROBERT/BOB ALLEN (newcomer James Wolk) is a charismatic and brilliant schemer who has meticulously constructed two lives in two different parts of Texas. He’s juggling two identities and two women in two very different worlds – all under one mountain of lies. As “Bob,” he lives in Houston and is married to CAT (Adrianne Palicki, “Friday Night Lights”), the beautiful daughter of CLINT (Jon Voight, 24, “Midnight Cowboy”), the patriarch of an ultra-wealthy Texas oil family. More than 400 miles away in the suburban west Texas town of Midland, he’s “Robert,” living a second life with his sweet, naïve girlfriend, LINDSAY (Eloise Mumford, “Mercy,” “Law & Order: SVU”). In Midland, he plays the perfect boyfriend while secretly bilking local investors of their savings. In Houston, he’s a devoted husband, charming Cat and her family to cement his position in the rich family business he aims to clean out. Bob has lived both lives successfully for years without arousing any suspicions…so far. While one brother-in-law, DREW (Bryce Johnson, “Popular,” “The Mentalist”), admires Bob, his other brother-in-law, TRAMMELL (Mark Deklin, “Nip/Tuck,” “Desperate Housewives”), is suspicious of his motives. Bob begins to fear his secret lives may unravel. With the cons closing in on him, Bob is divided by his love for two women; his loyalty to his father and mentor, JOHN (David Keith, “An Officer and a Gentleman,” “The Class”); and his respect for his father-in-law, Clint. Now as he tries to hold his two lives together, while fending off angry investors and the suspicions of those around him, Bob puts it all on the line hoping he can beat the odds, leave the schemes behind and keep two separate relationships afloat.

PRODUCTION COMPANIES: 20th Century Fox Television, Depth of Field Productions, Keyser/Lippman Productions

CREATOR/WRITER: Kyle Killen

EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Kyle Killen, Kerry Kohansky, Paul Weitz, Chris Keyser, Amy Lippman

DIRECTOR: Marc Webb

CAST: James Wolk as Robert/Bob Allen, Eloise Mumford as Lindsay, David Keith as John Allen, Adrianne Palicki as Cat Thatcher, Mark Deklin as Trammell Thatcher, Bryce Johnson as Drew Thatcher, Jon Voight as Clint Thatcher

The new animated comedy joining the FOX schedule in mideason is:

BOB’S BURGERS

BOB’S BURGERS is a new animated series about a man, his family and a burger joint. A third-generation restaurateur, BOB BELCHER (H. Jon Benjamin, FAMILY GUY, “Archer”) runs Bob’s Burgers with the help of his wife and their three kids. Bob has big ideas about burgers, condiments and sides, but only a few thoughts on customer service and business management. Despite his greasy counters, lousy location and occasionally spotty service, Bob is convinced his burgers speak for themselves. Even though business is slow, Bob gets to work with his family. His wife, LINDA BELCHER (John Roberts, “The Christmas Tree,” “Jackie & Debra”), supports Bob’s dream through thick and thin (but truth be told, she’s getting a little sick of the thin). Their eldest daughter, TINA (Dan Mintz, “Important Things with Demetri Martin,” “The Andy Milonakis Show”), is a 13-year-old hopeless romantic with minimal social skills. Middle child GENE (Eugene Mirman, “Flight of the Conchords,” “Aqua Teen Hunger Force”) is an aspiring musician and a prankster who serves up more jokes than burgers. Their youngest, LOUISE (Kristen Schaal, “Flight of the Conchords,” “Modern Family”), is the most enthusiastic about her dad’s business, but an off-balance sense of humor and her elevated energy level make her somewhat of a liability in the kitchen. Beyond the restaurant is a city rich with character. Next door to Bob’s is It’s Your Funeral Home and Crematorium; down the street is Wonder Wharf, the oceanside amusement pier; and a few blocks away is Wagstaff Middle School, where Bob and Linda’s kids go to school. And across the street is Jimmy Pesto’s Pizzeria, Bob’s Burgers’ main competition and the thorn in Bob’s side.

PRODUCTION COMPANY: 20th Century Fox Television

CREATOR: Loren Bouchard

EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS/WRITERS: Loren Bouchard, Jim Dauterive

DIRECTOR: Anthony Chun

VOICE CAST: H. Jon Benjamin as Bob Belcher, John Roberts as Linda Belcher, Kristen Schaal as Louise Belcher, Eugene Mirman as Gene Belcher, Dan Mintz as Tina Belcher

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FOX 2010-2011 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE – Page 8

The two new dramas slated for midseason debuts are:

TERRA NOVA

From executive producers Steven Spielberg, Peter Chernin, Brannon Braga (24, “Star Trek: Enterprise”) and David Fury (“Lost,” “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”) comes an epic family adventure 85 million years in the making. TERRA NOVA follows an ordinary family embarking on an incredible journey back in time to prehistoric Earth as a small part of a massive experiment to save the human race. In the year 2149 the world is dying. The planet is overdeveloped, overcrowded and overpolluted. With the majority of plant and animal life extinct, devotion to science has brought mankind to the brink of destruction, but has also provided its only hope for salvation. Knowing there is no way to reverse the damage to the planet, a coalition of scientists has managed to open up a fracture in the space-time continuum, creating a portal to prehistoric Earth. This doorway leads to an amazing world, one that allows for a last-ditch effort to save the human race…possibly changing the future by correcting the mistakes of the past. The series centers on the Shannon family as they join the tenth pilgrimage of settlers to TERRA NOVA, the first colony of humans in this second chance for civilization. JIM SHANNON, a devoted father with a checkered past, guides his family through this new land of limitless beauty, mystery and terror. Jim’s wife, ELISABETH SHANNON, is a trauma surgeon chosen through a global lottery as a new addition to Terra Nova’s medical team. JOSH SHANNON is their son, mourning the girl he left behind, as he’s torn between two role models – his father and the charismatic COMMANDER FRANK TAYLOR, the leader of the settlement, and the heroic first pioneer through the time portal. MADDY SHANNON, Jim and Elizabeth’s teen daughter, is as independent and adventurous as her parents, but her distrust of authority soon leads her on a dangerous path. In addition to blue skies, rolling rivers and lush vegetation, TERRA NOVA offers new opportunities and fresh beginnings to its recent arrivals, but the Shannons have brought with them a familial secret that may threaten their citizenship in this utopia. Additionally these adventurers soon discover that this healthy, vibrant world is not as idyllic as it initially appears. The areas surrounding Terra Nova are filled with dangerous dinosaurs, and other prehistoric threats, as well as external forces that may be intent on destroying this new world before it begins. But perhaps even more threatening than what lies outside the protective walls is the Shannons’ realization that something sinister may be happening inside TERRA NOVA as not everyone on this mission has the same intentions of how best to save mankind.

PRODUCTION COMPANIES: 20th Century Fox Television, DreamWorks Television, Kapital Entertainment, Chernin Entertainment

EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Steven Spielberg, Peter Chernin, Craig Silverstein, Kelly Marcel, Brannon Braga, David Fury, Aaron Kaplan, Katherine Pope, Justin Falvey, Darryl Frank

RIDE-ALONG

The city of Chicago is a paradox that serves as the setting for RIDE-ALONG, a new drama from Shawn Ryan (“The Shield,” “The Unit”). During a ride-along, a civilian spends a shift in the passenger seat of a squad car, observing the work day of a police officer. But in this series, the audience is the passenger, taking an unpredictable ride through the streets of Chicago and navigating crime and corruption with the most respected – and notorious – cops in the city. JAREK WYSOCKI (Jason Clarke, “Public Enemies,” “Brotherhood”) is a local legend and larger-than-life veteran of the Chicago Police Department. Like the city of Chicago, Jarek is razor blades and brass knuckles wrapped in politeness and egoless charm – a man who throws away partners the way others throw away tissues. TERESA COLVIN (Jennifer Beals, LIE TO ME, “The L Word”) arrived at the pinnacle of the Chicago Police Department in a short period of time. She’s determined to implement changes before the mud that is Chicago politics clogs her office. As a result of Teresa’s difficult choices, she has made some powerful enemies along the way, including two street gangs, the police officers’ union and a city alderman who proves to be a dangerous adversary. Jarek’s new partner, CALEB EVERS (Matt Lauria, “Friday Night Lights”), is a smart and observant young detective who desperately wants to prove himself. He is savvier and more observant than most people give him credit for, and just might make the perfect yin to Jarek’s yang. Also in Jarek’s charge is his niece, VONDA WYSOCKI (Devin Kelley, “Tease”), a rookie beat cop whose father, Jarek’s brother, was killed in the line of duty when she was young. Jarek keeps close tabs on her and is less than thrilled to discover she’s falling for her partner, ISAAC JOINER (Todd Williams, “In Plain Sight,” “CSI”), a charismatic cop who takes unnecessary risks on the job that land him and Vonda in some dangerous situations. ALDERMAN RONIN GIBBONS (Delroy Lindo, “Kidnapped”) is a building-magnate-turned-politician who has ruled his ward with a velvet glove for three decades. Jarek and Teresa are convinced Gibbons and his cohorts, including LIAM HENNESSEY (Billy Lush, “The Black Donnellys”), an Irish tough guy in Gibbons’ construction empire, are dirty to the core, but they’ve never had the evidence to prove it. When a murder investigation leads them to Gibbons, they are determined to bring him to justice and clean up Chicago – if that’s even possible.

PRODUCTION COMPANIES: 20th Century Fox Television, MiddKid Productions

CREATOR/WRITER: Shawn Ryan

EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Shawn Ryan, Charles McDougall

DIRECTOR: Charles McDougall

CAST: Jason Clarke as Jarek Wysocki, Jennifer Beals as Teresa Colvin, Matt Lauria as Caleb Evers, Devin Kelley as Vonda Wysocki, Todd Williams as Isaac Joiner, Billy Lush as Liam Hennessey, Delroy Lindo as Alderman Ronin Gibbons

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FOX 2010-2011 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE – Page 9

The following new comedy will premiere in the spring:

MIXED SIGNALS

MIXED SIGNALS is a new comedy series about three longtime friends and their attempts to reconcile the irreconcilable: to balance their relationships with their need for freedom. The series reveals how friendships and romances enhance – and further complicate – the lives of men and the women who love them. ETHAN (Kris Marshall, HUMAN TARGET, “My Family”) is the perpetual bachelor. He loves women, and when he’s in, he’s all in – at least for three weeks. Charming, genuine and hopelessly independent, Ethan is finding out that as he gets older, the pool of women who are willing to take things day by day is rapidly evaporating. ADAM (Nelson Franklin, “The Office,” “I Love You Man”) recently moved in with his girlfriend, CALLIE (Alexandra Breckenridge, FAMILY GUY), and is learning how vastly different “she comes over a lot” and “she lives with me” really are. Adam is discovering there isn’t much “me” time any more, there’s only “us” time. MIKE (David Denman, “The Office”) is a married lawyer still trying to figure out the male-female dynamic. He wants nothing more than to be a good family man to his wife, LISA (Liza Lapira, “Dexter,” “Dollhouse”), and his infant son, but he’s also trying to carve out a little space for himself. Currently that space is in his car, where he watches action movies in 15-minute chunks while telling his wife he’s stuck in traffic.

PRODUCTION COMPANIES: 20th Century Fox Television, Keshet Broadcasting Ltd.

EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Bob Fisher, David Hemingson, Avi Nir, Ran Sarig, Adir Miller, Elad Kuperman

DIRECTOR: Chris Koch

WRITER: Bob Fisher

CAST: Alexandra Breckenridge as Callie, David Denman as Mike, Nelson Franklin as Adam, Liza Lapira as Lisa, Kris Marshall as Ethan